Shenzhen-based Donghai Airlines celebrated the Chinese New Year by launching a direct flight between Nanjing and Mandalay in Myanmar (formerly Burma) on 5 February, 2019.
The thrice weekly service puts the last royal capital of Myanmar within just 3 and a half hours from Nanjing, no doubt making it one of the hot destinations for 2019.
Founded in 1857 upon direct orders of King Mindon, and supposedly to restore some of the country’s pride after defeat in the Second Anglo-Burmese War, the giant citadel that lies at the city’s centre is the city’s top attraction. Located smack in the middle of the country, Mandalay is also a good starting point for exploring Myanmar’s other highlights; the nearby Mahamuni Buddha Temple that is a major pilgrimage site or the UNESCO listed Sri Ksetra, the heart of the city of Pyay, approximately halfway from Mandalay to Yangon, being just two examples. More simple pleasures are to be found at Myanmar’s riverside “beer stations”, open air restaurants resembling rustic shacks from which to see the sun set on another world.
As part of efforts to boost tourism, formalities for entering Myanmar are well streamlined, thanks to an e-visa program, while a number of countries are also exempt from visa requirements.
Citizens of Singapore do not need a visa for Myanmar for tourist visits of up to 30 days, while, as part of a 1 year program that lasts until 30 September, 2019, residents of Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Macao can also enjoy 30 days, visa-free, as tourists in Myanmar.
In addition, residents of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam may make visa-free tourist visits to the country for up to 14 days, if entering and departing at Yangon, Mandalay or Naypyidaw International Airports.
For citizens of an additional 100 major countries (including China), an e-visa may be obtained online, within 3 working days (a 1-day-express service is also available) and for a payment of US$50. A full list of the 100 qualifying countries, as well as additional visa information and regulations that apply to foreigners visiting the country can be found here on the official Myanmar government website.
Donghai Airlines flies between Nanjing and Mandalay on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, using Boeing 737-800 equipment. Flight DZ6205, departs Nanjing at 12:40 and arrives Mandalay at 15:55, while flight DZ6206 flies from Mandalay to Nanjing, departing at 16:35 and arriving at 21:30.
Donghai Airlines began operations to Mandalay last July, with a flight from Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport.